The Photographer’s Model by Jeannette Miller


“The Photographer’s Model” by Jeannette Miller


The hard, round lens moved toward me,
       its eye growing smaller
       the closer it came.

You pictured me until the numbers wouldn’t escalate
       to hang on a white wall,
       a row of trophies, their corners

pinned securely, the image you desired.
       Drinking wine from paper cups
       people will walk along the frames

studying them for meaning or beauty. A figure,
       I’m without invitation
       like the glass-eyed doll I loved

in childhood. She sat upright and still
       I laid her down.

Inside her muslin chest: a sound box
       of involuntary cries
       someone sewed into her heart.


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Jeannette Miller Artist Statement:

After 14 years of marriage, Jeanette Miller returned to college, earning an MFA in
poetry from the Iowa Writers’ workshop while raising 3 children as a single parent
and working as a clerk typist.

Now, at age 73, Jeanette is retired from serving as a mental health counselor for the
state of Iowa in not-­‐for-­‐profit clinics. She also taught creative writing in Scattergood
Friends’ School a boarding high school founded by the Quakers in West Branch,
Iowa and as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.

Her poems have appeared in Pegasus, Phoebe, Caesura, Shenandoah, Prairie
Schooner, The Flying Island, and Prompt Press, among others. Excerpts from her
memoir were published in the centennial issue of “Yuan Yang: a Journal of Hong
Kong & International Writing”


Author: A Room of Her Own

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